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QUEENS PARK



General Information



Queen's Park is situated in the London boroughs of Brent and City of Westminster. Queen’s Park itself opened in 1887 for Queen Victoria’s Jubilee and was named in her honour. In 1879 the Royal Agricultural Society (RAS) chose a 100 acre site,west from Salusbury Road to Chamberlayne Road, for their yearly exhibition to showcase the latest accomplishments in agriculture and farming technology. Unfortunately, the event was dominated by torrential rain the entire week and although it attracted 185,000 visitors (half on the day Queen Victoria visited), it still generated a loss of £15,000, which triggered a relocation to Twyford. A campaign was then initiated to obtain the whole 100 acres as a park to ensure some green space was retained in what was a fast-developing part of London. Eventually, the central 30 acres was purchased and, eight years after the RAS show, it was opened by the Lord Mayor in 1887 ‘for the free use and enjoyment of the public forever’.

In recent years, the area has firmly cemented itself as one of North West London's most fashionable enclaves. Part of the wider Kilburn area, Queen's Park was once home to large Irish and Afro-Caribbean communities who cashed-in as property prices began to grow. By the late 90's and early 2000's the area saw new families, professionals and first-time buyers priced out Maida Vale and Notting Hill settle. This inadvertently created a 'boutique' village focused on and centred around the trendy Salusbury Road and Queen's Park open space.

Did You know?
 
After being extended from Baker Street the Bakerloo line services began to operate from Queen’s Park station in February 1915. 

QPR have played outside the Queen’s Park neighbourhood for most of their existence, mostly at their present ground in Loftus Road in Shepherds Bush. The football club have been in and out of top-flight football from the late 1960s to the mid-90s and competed in the Premier League for a couple of years from 2011 to 2013.

Queen’s Park was designed and laid out by one of London’s most prominent park designers, Alexander McKenzie, who also designed Alexandra Palace Park, Southwark Park, Finsbury Park and Victoria and Albert Embankment Gardens.

One of the more visible attractions in Queens Park is the colourful bandstand that continues to be a powerful symbol of Victorian park life. It was constructed by Walter MacFarlane & Co at the astonishing cost of just £342.11!

Green Spaces

Queen's Park is a wonderful example of a cherished and incredibly popular city park and is certainly the most substantial green space in the area. It has been open to the public since 1887 and the aim of the City of London is to provide well looked-after surroundings and facilities to meet the needs of the park's many visitors, remaining true to the vision of its Victorian founders. Facilities include six all-weather tennis courts, a pitch and putt course, an ornamental garden, table tennis tables, a children's playground with paddling pool, a small zoo, woodland walk area and a café. Queens Park has been named a Green Flag Park (a scheme aimed to recognise and reward well managed parks and green spaces by setting a benchmark in standards) for more than ten years running, in acknowledgement of the quality of its services and environment. It has also been a London in Bloom Gold Award winner in the ‘Large Parks’ classification for two years in a row.

Another beautiful green space only a short walk from Queens Park is Paddington Recreation Ground often referred to as ‘Paddington Rec’. Long term locals would be forgiven for not realising this park ever existed as it is surrounded by several residential streets with tall housing stretching almost the entire boarder, enclosing the park and obscuring it from sight. It was established in the 1880s when Paddington Cricket Club began to find it increasingly difficult to find fields to play on. London was expanding at an exponential rate and the fields which they had used for decades were making way for new homes. A huge campaign was fought which succeeded in buying about nine acres of land. Today is has several facilities on offer including a children's playground, toilets, café, car and coach park. Sports facilities include: athletics track, bowling green, cricket ground, football and hockey pitches, table tennis tables, basketball / netball court and superb tennis courts.

Going Out

Turn left out of Queens Park tube station and you are on the main street and the hub of the area, Salusbury Road. The Alice House is a popular choice and offers visitors something interesting at any time of the day. During the day its rustic charm is ideal for a relaxing coffee or for those looking for a comfortable spot to work away from the office. As night falls the Alice House transforms into an energetic bar serving superb food and delightful cocktails.

If you head further up the street the Salusbury gastropub will give Alice House a run for its money with a variety of offerings from its gastro to its deli (perfect for picking up a picnic en route to the park), pizzeria and wine merchants. If you are serious about the quality of your food produce, then the recently opened Planet Organic would be your first port of call. Gail’s offers fail-safe cakes and there even a farmer’s market held in the Salusbury school playground every Sunday between 10-2pm selling local and organic produce. It has a reputation as being as one of the best in London

Adjacent to The Salusbury is one of our favourite streets in London, Lonsdale Road, a part cobbled part pedestrianized street which is a creative business hub and home to a mix of yoga and pilates studios, emerging and established designers, bars and restaurants. Ostuni, a classic Puglian restaurant, serves delicious pasta amongst others treats of their tasty menu. While their food is divine, their charming outdoor seating area makes Ostuni a must visit in the summer.  Bringing to life an ageing garage and car repair shop is Wolfpack (53 Lonsdale Road), a microbrewery founded in 2018 by ex-Saracens rugby players Chris Wyles and Alistair Hargreaves. One of Queen’s Park's most popular restaurants is brunch spot and organic wine bar, Milk Beach. Established by an Australian coffee lover featuring a menu implemented by a former Duck and Waffle Head Chef the combination is an all-day restaurant that’s with worth a long journey to get to. Thankfully for residents in Queens Park they have it on their doorstep.

Transport

Tube: Queens Park tube station is on the Bakerloo line and journey times to Oxford Circus take around 15 minutes.
Rail: Brondesbury Park station on the London Overground network provides connections to Richmond & Clapham in the west and Islington and Shoreditch in the east.
 
Bus: Local bus routes include routes to Marble Arch, Green Park and Piccadilly Circus via the No. 6. If you need to travel further south east, then jump on the No. 36 which will take you to Pimilco Kennington and eventually Peckham. Additionally, the No. 136 will take you north to Cricklewood or west to Shepherds Bush.
 
Road: Notting Hill and St Johns Wood are both short 5/10 drive away and motorists can reach the A40 with ease which provides access to the West of England in just twenty minutes. The M1 is not hard to reach for those needing a more direct route to the North of England.
 
Cycle: Cyclists can join the bike path running along the canal from Kensal Green to Paddington.
 
 Getting away: Locals can reach Heathrow in around 30 minutes via the Bakerloo Line at Queens Park station which is only four tube stops to Paddington and from there the Heathrow Express takes 15 minutes to reach the airport. Alternatively access to the M1 is relatively simple via the North Circular which will take you swiftly to Luton Airport in 30 minutes (with good traffic!). 

David's Recommendations

Best Coffee- Milk Beach (19 Lonsdale Road, NW6 6RA)
Best Supermarket- 
Planet Organic (117-121, Salusbury Road, NW6 6RG)
Best for Wine- 
The Salusbury Winestore (54 Salusbury Road, NW6 6NN)
Best Breakfast – 
Bob’s Café (77 Salusbury Road, NW6 6NH)
Best Cocktails – 
The Alice House (53-55 Salusbury Road, NW6 6NJ)
Best Pasta- 
Ostuni (43-47 Lonsdale Road, NW6 6RA)